Redding looked to be on for a tough race after slipping from fourth on the grid to ninth in the first lap of the 20-lap contest on a soggy track, as title protagonists Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea vied for the lead as early as the first steps. .
But as Razgatlioglu retired with a mechanical problem with six laps to go and Rea couldn’t keep pace in the later stages, it opened the door for a Ducati rider to take the win, with Axel Bassani in the lead for several laps in this last special on the private Motocorsa V4 R.
However, Bassani missed a fairytale first WSBK victory by 1.577 seconds as Redding passed for the lead in the 18th round to score his sixth win of the season and keep his weak title hopes alive.
History of the race
As the whole peloton set off on wet tires after a downpour before the race, BMW rider Tom Sykes got off to a terrible start from pole position, leaving Razgatlioglu alone in the lead as the peloton entered Turn 1.
The championship leader first paved the way for teammate Andrea Locatelli and Ducati leader Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with Rea slipping behind a fast-starting Bassani in fifth.
But as a chaotic first lap unfolded, Rea’s Kawasaki jumped past Bassani, Rinaldi and Locatelli to take second place, before passing Razgatlioglu at the turn 10 hairpin to take the lead.
Razgatlioglu responded by regaining the advantage early in the second lap, but Rea was back in the lead in the long right-hand corner of Turn 3 and built a two-second lead as Razgatlioglu found himself embroiled in a scuffle with Bassani, who in turn had cleared Rinaldi and a fading Locatelli.
Rea’s lead peaked at around 2.6 seconds, but by the end of lap 10 his lead over Razgatlioglu had fallen to less than a second. The gap was completely closed next time around, with the Yamaha rider taking the lead on turn 4 on lap 12.
Bassani, who passed several laps past Razgatlioglu in the battle for second place, quickly edged Rea as well, and when the Turkish rider suddenly slowed down with a mechanical problem on lap 15, Bassani found himself in the lead ahead of Rea.
In the next lap, however, Rea fell victim to a resurgent Rinaldi, who was accompanied by Ducati teammate Redding, and on the next tour the pair switched positions as Redding made their way through Turn 4. .
That left Redding only with Bassani in front of him, and what looked like an inevitable pass for the win came on lap 18 at Turn 5.
Nonetheless, Bassani managed to hang on to score his first WSBK podium (beating his previous career best fifth result), while Rinaldi completed a first Ducati 1-2-3 since 2012.
Rea survived a late attack by Michael van der Mark’s BMW for fourth place, giving him a six-point championship lead after Razgatlioglu retired. Redding, meanwhile, is 53 points behind.
Alex Lowes was sixth on the second Kawasaki ahead of Leon Haslam’s Honda, a disappointing Sykes, Alvaro Bautista on the second Honda and Chaz Davies’ Go Eleven Ducati.
Locatelli’s top five streak came to an end as he slumped to a disastrous 12th place, one place behind Yamaha’s top finisher Kohta Nozane on the GRT satellite machine.
Garett Gerloff did not start after an accident on the reconnaissance lap on the other Yamaha GRT.